Fire Starters

Boldness, clarity and wisdom for fundraising professionals

I’m Calling it 3.0

It’s been 10 years that I’ve been self-employed. I started my company for the same reason I do my work today: to help as many people in the nonprofit community do more of what they want to do AND to have all the money they need to do it. My niche, my gift, is to help people communicate differently. My special sauce, so to speak, is helping people share powerful stories. I’ve watched hundreds of staff and board members relax and fill with excitement once they get a taste of my “special sauce.” They tell me what they learn from me is the power of finding a comfortable, effortless way to talk about people and money. I absolutely love what I do. It lights me up inside to watch heart-centered, hard-working people learn new skills. Part of my magic sauce is to make it fun for people to practice their new communications skills right away. When it’s a conference or a workshop, it’s easy to pair people up and give them two minutes to inspire their partner. Add another minute or two to share feedback with each other and fast friends are made with stories that inspire. What I found is that I can re-create this same experience when I gather small groups of people on the phone. It’s been pretty magical. Four or five people can bond after just one hour together. Nerves and sweaty palms can be detected even on a phone call. Stilted and report-like at first, the stories get more inspiring each week. The confidence talking about “the money” is always the biggest hurdle. But those...

A Social Media Outreach Guide for Your Next Nonprofit Event

You work hard on all the details of your nonprofit fundraising event but attendance was low. What went wrong? Never before has multi-channel marketing been more important. Even my 80 year-old mother uses social media to connect with friends and family.

Check out this terrific and brand new infographic from Maximillion Event Creators to guide you in your social media outreach for your next event.

It Only Takes One Story to Change Everything

The most common complaints I hear about sharing a story to increase fundraising revenue:
“I don’t know any stories” or “We don’t have any good stories.”

I disagree.

In 1999 I was the President/CEO of Prevent Blindness America, Greater Phoenix Division. New to the city, with a new job – I could have used those same complaints.

What Do You Really Want Me to Feel?

I’ve got a couple of short audio clips to share with you today to illustrate the difference between sharing facts and sharing words that cause listeners and readers to feel something. Anything.

WHAT you cause others to feel isn’t the point. It’s that you don’t recite a list of facts when you share a story. As I’ve said before, a list of facts is really a report.

Peace. Please.

In the past week I’ve watched more pain, anger, and tragedy unfold across our country than I care to ever see again.

My heart aches. I’m sad and frustrated and not in the mood to talk about retaining donors or fundraising events today.

I believe to create a peaceful existence we have to show up differently. But make no mistake in thinking I’m talking to someone else. It is up to every single woman, man, and child to take different actions to start the healing process.

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